I’ve always felt that music was more than just plucking keys on a piano. It was therapeutic for me…I just didn’t understand why or how. If I was angry, I could take it out on my instrument. (I actually popped three piano strings like this.) I had something for every mood. If I couldn’t play, I’d dance. If I wasn’t dancing, I was singing. It was always one of the three. On a rare occasion, I’d compose something (I still sing them.)
When I got to college, I learned about music therapy, and I considered making music my minor. I chose not to do that because I was afraid I’d begin to hate it, and I wanted the freedom to enjoy it whenever I was ready. Years later, I’d get to watch music therapists in action with clients.
Songs can be used for many purposes (though not always good), such as praise, learning facts, showing emotion, recalling events, setting a mood.
In 1 Samuel 16, we see David is called to play his harp for King Saul because the king has a tormenting spirit. There is debate over if this was a “spirit” or depression, but that’s not the point. Music was played, and King Saul felt better.
Small Steps #4 – Listen to Music That Makes You Feel Good
Do yourself a favor and listen to something that you like. Do you want a song that makes you want to dance? Play that. Do you want something that always makes you laugh? Play that. Want to belt out a song? Play that. Want something that is calming in the midst of the stress you have? Play that. Consider making a list of songs that you enjoy so that you can find them easily.
Some of the benefits of music include:
- Improved memory
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Can help those affected by aphasia (definition – the loss of a previously held ability to speak or understand spoken or written language, due to disease or injury of the brain)
- Releasing emotions (ex. Lyrics may express your thoughts.)
- Making connections with others (I mentioned connecting with an “aggressive” client through singing hymns in You Don’t Want Success.)
I started to include a playlist, but I think it would be better for you to make your own. Have fun!
How Music Affects Your Body, Brain and Mental Health – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSzxk536Bw4
Music Therapy & Medicine: A Dynamic Partnership | Dr. Deforia Lane | TEDxBeaconStreetSalon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGnWyS2Y4r8
Zopi, Lois. Alex Klein, PsD, medical reviewer. “What is music therapy, and how does it work?” November 3, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/music-therapy.
Nature Sound Retreat. “Music And Depression: 10 Reasons Why Music Can Help You.” https://naturesoundretreat.com/music-for-depression/.